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Press note: Global Goals Schools Awards, sponsored by GEMS Education, given out at Award ceremony in India

Ahmedabad, December 4, 2016: From curbing farmer suicides to building low cost toilets to creating gratitude boxes in the classroom to fighting child sexual abuse – changes like these and more, all initiated by school children from across India. On December 3 & 4, Design For Change (DFC) and Parle G co-hosted the third edition of the ‘I CAN’ awards where 100 most inspiring stories from schools across the country were honoured at the two-day I CAN Awards Ceremony 2016, held at Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Gandhinagar.

The Design For Change school challenge received 3610 projects of Change this year from 27 states across India. Olympic Champion and Ace Shooter Mr Gagan Narang; Actor, Director and activist Mr Rahul Bose; IPS officer and Secretary of Social Welfare Department, Govt of Telangana Dr R S Praveen Kumar; and former World Billiards Champion Geet Sethi gave away the awards to the children and mentors who led the inspiring stories of change.

The focus of the event was to make it as much a learning experience for the children as a celebration of their achievement. Over the exciting two day-long event, participants were involved in playing games, watching performances, attending educative workshops and interacting with the esteemed guests.

Renowned theatre personalities Sanjna Kapoor and Abhishek Saha conducted workshops for educators on how to use theatre in education, while Shaurya Rastogi’s session focused on the power of imagination in building things. ‘Luminati’ was one of the most engaging workshops where children explored new possibilities through an amalgamation of fashion and technology to create affordable e-textiles. Sanat P.C., the visual effects Director of the movie ‘Bahubali’ conducted a workshop on animation. Jigyasa led a workshop on the ‘Art of the Spoken Word’ to help children find their creative space and give a voice to their thoughts. Ashok Rupner gave children a hands-on experience on science projects and Varun Mayangar helped children to explore the field of Robotics. More than 20 such fascinating workshops kept the students and teachers engaged through the two days.

Children were thrilled when Rahul Bose premiered his new film Poorna – based on the story of the life of Malavath Poorna, an adivasi from Telangana, who at the age of 13, became the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest. Rahul, the brand ambassador for ‘Design For Change’ (DFC), very kindly offered special screenings to any school that would like their students to see the film.

The ‘I CAN Awards’ are an occasion to celebrate the audacious stories of change authored by children aged 8 to 15 from the remotest parts of the country. The idea is to encourage and celebrate young Changemakers and the mentors who support them in their journey. Through a partnership with the World’s Largest Lesson India, four prestigious awards called Global Goals School Award sponsored by GEMS Education were given away to four school teams each for their work towards achieving the ‘Sustainable Global Goals’.

Design For Change, the largest global movement whose reach has grown to over 40 countries in the past 8 years, promotes the belief in children that they can make the world a better place. Students participate in the Design for Change School Challenge by identifying anything that bothers them, and transform it using the simple 4-step process of Feel, Imagine, Do and Share.